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Why Do You Get Sore?
by Dr. David Williams

One of the worst things about working out is getting sore the next day. It hurts to walk up stairs, sit down or even breathe. That is when you know you have overdone it. You should be a little fatigued after you finish, but not sore.

Why do you get sore after a strenuous workout? It was believed for years that getting sore after exercise was a result of a buildup a lactic acid within your muscles. Recent research has not supported this hypothesis. The pain and discomfort that you feel while you are exercising is called immediate onset muscle soreness and happens because your body produces hydrogen ions during exercise. When hydrogen ion levels begin to rise, they aggravate the nerve ending, resulting in pain. When you stop the exercise, the hydrogen ion levels go down and the pain diminishes.

The pain you feel the next day is called delayed onset muscle soreness and is a result of small tears within your muscle fibers. It takes about 48-72 hours for those tears to repair themselves (that is why you do not want to exercise the same body part two days in a row). What you feel like doing when you are sore is sitting on the couch and not moving until the pain goes away. Actually, what you should do is some more exercise. Get up and go for a walk or do some light stretching exercises. These activities will promote blood flow to the muscles and will speed up the healing process.

Just remember, don't work out so hard that you cannot move the next day. If muscle soreness is experienced following exercise, keep moving, it will get better.

If you have any questions regarding fitness and wellness, please feel free to contact me at (817) 648-6999.

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